In Shakespeare's As You LIke It, what is referred to as "the penalty of Adam" in Act II scene i?
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
'This is no flattery: these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.' (II.i)
Speaking to his "brothers in exile," Duke Senior uses the Biblical allusion, "the penalty of Adam," to refer to the exile of Adam (with Eve) from the Garden of Eden after their fall from grace. With this allusion, Duke Senior likens his exile to Adam's exile and likens himself to Adam. He goes on with negative interrogatory (negative questions: "hath not" "are not") to set forth his optimistic opinion that he and his exiled men live better in the Forest of Arden than they did at court. He rejects the "painted pomp" of court. He speaks of the "envious court" as being "perilous": "envious" means there were those who wanted what others had; "perilous"...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 746 words.)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial